The last two weeks have really been a roller coaster of political emotions for us. Torn between shame, anger, incredulousness, confusion, uncertainty as to what exactly our ‘ leaders’ are doing as they continue to embarrass us in the public space with all sorts of juvenile accusations in this ego measuring contest. So, no politics or complaining this week. I’ll resume that next week with a look at the operations of AirFrance. I’m not sure I’m qualified to complain coming from a ‘giant’ country that doesn’t have a national carrier and whose level of professionalism will not be better than the one I am about to rant about.’ Next week, will bring another drama as the battle for the No 3 seat in government is under pressure, no reconvening of the NASS and Baba returns from his vacation. I got this write-up and decided to share. Might as well get inspired or motivated for the weekend.

  1. I’m Slowly Learning That I Don’t Have To React To Everything That Bothers Me
  2. I’m slowly learning that I don’t have to hurt those who hurt me.

  3. I’m slowly learning that maybe the ultimate sign of maturity is walking away instead of getting even

    1. I’m slowly learning that the energy it takes to react to every bad thing that happens to you drains you and stops you from seeing the other good things in life.
  1. I’m slowly learning that I’m not going to be everyone’s cup of tea and I won’t be able to get everyone to treat me the way I want to be treated and that’s okay.

  2. I’m slowly learning that trying so hard to ‘win’ anyone is just a waste of time and energy and it fills you with nothing but emptiness.

    1. I’m slowly learning that not reacting doesn’t mean I’m okay with things, it just means I’m choosing to rise above it. I’m choosing to take the lesson it has served and learn from it
  1. I’m choosing to be the bigger person. I’m choosing my peace of mind because that’s what I truly need. I don’t need more
    drama. I don’t need people making me feel like I’m not good enough. I don’t need fights and arguments and fake connections.

  2. I’m slowly learning that sometimes not saying anything at all says everything.

  3. I’m slowly learning that reacting to things that upset you gives someone else power over your emotions *You can’t control what others do but you can control how you respond, how you handle it, how you perceive it and how much of it you want to take personally.

    1. *I’m slowly learning that most of the time, these situations say nothing about you and a lot about the other person.
    1. I’m slowly learning that maybe all these disappointments are just there to teach us how to love ourselves because that will be the armor and the shield we need against the people who try to bring us down. They will save us when people try to shake our confidence or when they try to make us feel like we’re worthless.
  1. I’m slowly learning that even if I react, it won’t change anything, it won’t make people suddenly love and respect me, it won’t magically change their minds

  2. I’m slowly learning that Sometimes it’s better to just let things be, let people go, don’t fight for closure, don’t ask for explanations, don’t chase answers and don’t expect people to understand where you’re coming from.

    1. I’m slowly learning that life is better lived when you don’t centre it on what’s happening around you but centre it on what’s happening inside you instead. Work on yourself and your inner peace and you’ll come to realise that not reacting to every little thing that bothers you is the first ingredient to living a happy and healthy life.

Free The Press

A free press is one of the hall marks of a thriving democracy. While I am aware that our democracy is gasping for breath, it doesn’t stop the supporting institutions from defining themselves; we do have a Constitution. In recent times, the media has come under heavy pressure. There has been a growing concern that fake news is taking over the media space which is heavily influenced by the presence of news being available at our finger tips and in no small measure owed to social media. Mainstream newspaper outlets have come under fire for sensationalising and wandering into grey-headlines territory. This further led to calls to censure speech and the circulation of news under the guise of ‘hate-speech’ and relying on the Cybercrime Act 2017.

Though the rights given to the press is found in small portion of the 1999 Constitution (amended) in S 39. (1) which states that “Every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference”, let’s try and remember that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land and that section carries a punch for not only journalists but the citizenry. Even with other laws that allude to safe spaces for journalists to carry out their assignment; the problem is the timely enforcement when that right is violated. The 2011 Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, guarantees citizens’ right to public information for example. However, in the matter of The #EndSARS, a sore topic for Nigerians; when Acting President Osinbajo asked the IGP to overhaul the SARS operating system and set up a panel to hear the cases of human rights abuse, three journalists were arrested and one, after some pressure, was released on bail and charged to court for publishing what the Police are calling ‘sensitive information’.

His crime; publishing the ‘sensitive material’ and refusing to mention his source. Simply put, the journalist was arrested for publishing a correct piece of information that bruised the ego of the organisation in question. The current outcome of the case in question is a test for our legal system. The questions to be determined hear should be, did Samuel Ogundipe violate any law of the land and if he did, what law is it? What constitutes ‘sensitive information’ that cannot be shared with the citizenry? What is the measure of determining what is sensitive? How better can the legal system protect the human rights of the journalist to mitigate intimidation? In 1971, during the Nixon Administration, an informer had handed over the Pentagon Papers on the extent of America’s involvement in the Vietnamese war to expose a massive cover-up of government secrets that spanned three decades and four U.S presidents, to the New York Times. The government took the newspaper to court and it was temporarily banned from publishing the information.

While the case was on, the same informer gave more documents to the Washington Post who took a gamble and published the documents despite the government’s pressure. It was the chief executives that were on the chopping block not the journalists. Anyway, there were conflicting rulings in both cases and the Washington Post’s case eventually went to the Supreme Court. This was the stellar judgement in a 4-2 decision. Justice Hugo Black wrote an opinion that elaborated on his view of the absolute superiority of the First Amendment: “The injunction against The New York Times should have been vacated without oral argument when the cases were first presented… . Every moment’s continuance of the injunctions…amounts to a flagrant, indefensible, and continuing violation of the First Amendment. … The Government’s power to censor the press was abolished so that the press would remain forever free to censure the Government. The press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of government and inform the people. Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government.

And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people and sending them off to distant lands to die of foreign fevers and foreign shot and shell. … [W]e are asked to hold that…the Executive Branch, the Congress, and the Judiciary can make laws…abridging freedom of the press in the name of ‘national security.’ … To find that the President has ‘inherent power’ to halt the publication of news…would wipe out the First Amendment and destroy the fundamental liberty and security of the very people the Government hopes to make ‘secure.’ … The word ‘security’ is a broad, vague generality whose contours should not be invoked to abrogate the fundamental law embodied in the First Amendment. The guarding of military and diplomatic secrets at the expense of informed representative government provides no real securit.

The Framers of the First Amendment, fully aware of both the need to defend a new nation and the abuses of the English and Colonial governments, sought to give this new society strength and security by providing that freedom of speech, press, religion, and assembly should not be abridged” (Courtesy Wikipedia) The above judgement says it all. Remembering the bravery of Newswatch (well, during the time of Dele Giwa, Ray Ekpu, Dan Agbese and Yakubu Mohammed), not forgetting Tell magazine. As protégés of Newswatch, they had a pretty rough ride spanning two governments and Nosa Igiebor eventually recognised for Tell’s bravery. The months going forward will be very challenging for the Press but it is important that the Press space gets a landmark decision on this matter once and for all, for all our sakes and play its part in protecting what’s left of our democracy (since this is the system of government we’ve chosen). It is our country not the government’s country.